The 7 Best Composting Toilet for RVs // How To Use?

RV composting toilet

Looking for the best RV composting toilet? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

Composting toilets are popular for the eco-friendly RV camper. They allow you to safely and easily dispose of your waste in a way that helps cut down on plastic waste and freshwater usage.

Composting toilets mean that you will not have to deal with any sewage. This can take a lot of the stress out of the waste management associated with RV camping.

Some RVs will come with composting toilets, whereas others will not. If you are thinking of adding a composting toilet, you will want to know as much as you can before paying to install a composting toilet.

So, what are the best Composting toilet for RVs? Below the list of the best RV composting toilet you can find out there:

  1. Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
  2. Air Head Dry Composting Toilet
  3. Separett Composting Toilet
  4. C-Head Portable Composting Toilet
  5. Sun-Mar Mobile Composting Toilet
  6. Bucket Composting Toilet
  7. SereneLife Outdoor Portable Toilet
  8. Zimmer Portable Composting Toilet
  9. Villa 9215 AC/DC

What is a Composting Toilet?

What is a Composting Toilet? A composting toilet separates liquid and solid waste. It then turns the solid waste into compost. This means you do not need to attach a long hose and carefully (and painstakingly) dump the sewage from your RV toilet.

Composting toilets create an oxygen-rich environment that enables bacteria to break down the solid waste. The waste from a composting toilet for RV can then be collected and added to a composting pile or dumped in a trash receptacle.

If you plan to use a trash receptacle, but you want to stay environmentally friendly, be sure to store the waste in a biodegradable bag.

Read also: Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs (11 Facts)

4 Reasons Why Use a Composting Toilet in Your RV?

Eliminate Black Tank

One of the least glamorous aspects of RV camping is the black tank. The black tank is the waste collection tank in an RV that collects water with human waste.

This is different from the gray water tank that would collect water from the sink and/or shower.

Emptying the black tank of an RV usually involves attaching a large hose and emptying the waste into a dump station.

Composting tanks, instead, separate the solid waste and dry it before you empty it. This reduces the chance of spilling and leaking, so it is much more comfortable.

Save Fresh Water

Flush toilets use fresh water for their flushes. This means every time you use a flush toilet, one to two gallons of fresh water are literally going down the drain.

Composting toilets for RV do not require any fresh water to flush. This means you can drive longer before needing to re-fill your freshwater tank. You also will waste less fresh water. The Earth will thank you!

Increase Gray Tank Capacity

Because you will not be using a black tank, you can increase the capacity of your gray tank. This will help you drive longer before you need to stop and empty the gray water tank.

It also means that your fresh water will go to gray water instead of black water, so you can afford to shower and use the sink more often before refilling.

Additional Benefits

If you compost in your garden or yard, you can use the composted waste for your plants. A composting toilet can help your garden grow.

There is often less opportunity for pipes to break with a composting toilet. The system is open enough to let you avoid dealing with pipes freezing or cracking. This can help you avoid expensive and painful repairs.

The Truth About Composting Toilets >> Check out the video below:

Downside of RV Composting Toilet

Composting toilets are more expensive than most of the toilets you can get in an RV. Additionally, if your RV does not come with a composting toilet, you have the added expense of installation.

👉 While they are the most environmentally-friendly option, they are not the most budget-friendly when it comes to installation. They do save you money on water and black tanks in the future, but the initial cost is still higher.

👉 It does require power to use a composting toilet for RV. While it does not require massive amounts of energy, you likely will need a battery or other power connection if you want to convert the waste into compost.

While composting toilets are designed to minimize odor (by separating the liquid and solid waste), there may still occasionally be a smell produced in the toilet.

This is important to consider for many people who use RVs.

Cassette Composting Toilet Manufacturers

Understanding the most popular composting toilet manufacturers will help you better understand which composting toilet is best for you.

Let’s look at what each of these manufacturers offers and how reviewers feel about them.

Thetford Company

Thetford is one of the most popular brands of toilets in the camping world. They are renowned for clean, high-quality toilets. Though many of their toilets use plastic, the plastic is always resilient and easy to clean.

Many of Thetford’s most popular toilets are completely portable. If you want to camp in a remote area and bring a toilet into the woods with you, Thetford may have just the perfect toilet for you.

Thetford is also renowned for being leak-proof for liquid waste. No messes for you! Plus, Thetford’s toilets are easy to use, so you do not need to be a cassette composting toilet aficionado to get the most out of your Thetford toilet.


Nature’s Head Company

Nature’s Head has amazing compact options for composting toilets. If you drive a class B motorhome or if you tow a pop-up or teardrop trailer, one of Nature’s Head compact options will let you save space in your camper. Less toilet space gives you more space for gear and activities.

Nature’s Head toilets use stainless steel hardware. These toilets are durable and will last easily for years. Long-term options are important for many people who camp because they let you keep camping for years without needing another expensive replacement.

Reviewers are thrilled that Nature’s Head composting toilets easily control the smell that many other RV camper toilets produce. They also love that you can go for almost 2 weeks before you need to empty the compost.


Sun-Mar Company

Sun-Mar claims to be a “world leader in composting toilet technology.” Its products claim customers from renowned companies around the world, so it certainly has the backing of many people and organizations.

Reviewers love that Sun-Mar’s toilets are long-lasting and durable. Countless reviewers mention using the same toilet for 15 years or more.

Sun-Mar has been producing composting toilets for RV for years. This experience means the company has had plenty of time to tweak its design to best fit the modern world.

Furthermore, while many companies have one or two models of composting toilets available, Sun-Mar has several composting toilets available, so you can browse for the features you want.


The Best Composting Toilets for RVs

1. Nature’s Head Composting Toilet 

This Nature’s Head Composting Toilet with Spider Handle Design is amazing for those with small campers. It is easy to install, and the handle is designed for use in a bathroom with close quarters.

This toilet will need to empty every four to six weeks, so you can use it for extended periods before you need to complete the simple emptying process.

👉 It costs around 960 dollars, so the cost is about average for RV composting toilets. This option is also lighter than many self-contained toilets on the market today.

👉 It weighs around 28 pounds, so if you are looking to minimize added weight in your camper. This will save you gas mileage, gas money, and stress.

👉 This toilet is also fairly easy to repair, should you run into any problems. It does not require specialized, expensive tools. You can do most repairs with a simple screwdriver. This makes it a user-friendly option for everyone.

👉 It is important to note, though, that while you can go for a few weeks without needing to empty the compost, you can only go for a couple of days (at most) without needing to empty the attached jug for liquid waste.

This is a point of frustration for many owners.  

Others say that while you can go weeks without needing to empty the compost, it can get quite heavy. You may need assistance emptying the compost.


2. Air Head Dry Composting Toilet

The Air Head Dry Composting Toilet is a fabulous, well-designed option. It can last for about 80 uses before you will need to empty the compost container.

Realistically that will be around one month of usage before needing to empty the solid waste tank.

👉 You will need to empty the liquid waste tank every few days, so keep that in mind when you plan when/where you will stop and empty.

👉 This particular model uses a 12-volt fan. It is easy to power, so you do not need to worry about needing special technology just to run the fan on this toilet. The fan helps to convert the waste into compost.

Some reviewers do complain that this toilet struggles to compost when you use it in humid climates. If you live/regularly camp in a desert, you will be just fine.

However, if you camp in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, you may need to explore other options.

Users also complain that occasionally liquid waste can leak into the composting side of the toilet. This will produce a smell and prevent proper composting.

You will need to check and make sure it is always well-sealed.


3. Separett Composting Toilet

This Separett composting toilet is popular and easy to use. The fan that it uses can run on AC or DC power, so it is a versatile option. This toilet was also designed to be family-friendly, as it comes with an attachment for a child’s seat.

👉 The Separett composting toilet also comes with a compostable bag to collect the waste. After several weeks of using the toilet (Separett recommends about three), you can simply remove the bag and add it to your composting pile.

👉 This makes the process much smoother, but it does mean you may need to buy more composting bags when you run out. Luckily, most composting bags will work with the toilet.

👉 Reviewers say that it is easy to clean and it works very well. The biggest complaint is that you have to run the fan for a while to properly process the compost.

👉 This will take more battery power. It may also make noise while you are trying to sleep during the night. The fan is small enough, though, that the sound should be minimal.

4. C-Head Portable Composting Toilet

The C-Head composting toilet is revolutionary because it does not require water or electricity. They have several models available, so you can find the right size and amenities given your budget. The company offers exceptional customer service and communication, which is a huge plus.

👉 On their website, they also offer replacements for pieces that may easily break due to wear. This gives you a chance to quickly make repairs rather than needing to buy a new toilet.

Almost the entire toilet is plastic, so some pieces will be more prone to breakage than those on the brands that use stainless steel.

👉 Reviewers say that this is one of the best toilets for managing the smell of waste. The toilet is also available in several finishes, so you can aesthetically select the best toilet to match your RV’s interior design.

The company is family-oriented. They make everything in the United States, and they love to support small, local manufacturers.

👉 Similarly, they estimate about one week of usage before you will need to empty the solid waste (longer if you only use the toilet incidentally). The design is smaller, but it will need to be emptied slightly more often.


5. Sun-Mar Mobile Composting Toilet

The Sun-Mar Excel Mobile Composting Toilet is one of the top-selling models of composting toilets in the United States of America.

The company brags that it is easy to use this toilet and the toilet is reliable. This toilet also offers (for an extra price) an AC/DC converter kit, if you prefer that option.

👉 The Sun-Mar Excel has been certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, so you can be sure your toilet and your compost will be safe and clean.

Part of the certification process included using the toilet consistently for 6 months, and during that period no odor was produced. You are sure to avoid smells if you select the Sun-Mar Excel.

👉 The Sun-Mar Excel also offers a detachable footrest, if you are looking for added comfort. The Sun-Mar Excel has excellent details to elevate the look and function of the composting toilet.

Reviewers do complain that the fiberglass is fairly cheap. This means the toilet may break more easily than others. This breakage may also be difficult and/or expensive to repair.

This is also a more expensive model. The price comes in around 1,895 dollars, not including installation.


6. Bucket Composting Toilet

On the other end of the price spectrum, you have bucket composting toilets like those offered by Kunida Designs. Many of these toilets cost closer to 40 dollars.

👉 Bucket toilets are incredibly portable. They are usually the size of a 5-gallon bucket, so they can easily be carried in and out of campsites or tucked into corners of the RV where they will not take up all of your storage space.

👉 The Kunida design is hygienic and incredibly easy to clean. It is also easy to empty, thanks to the way they designed the lip of the bucket. This will help make the emptying process simple and painless.

👉 These toilets do not have as many amenities, so they are often less comfortable and less glamorous when you need to empty the waste.

These are also less true “composting” toilets. They can collect the waste, but you would need to add some extra steps to the disposal if you want to truly compost the waste.

Unlike the other toilets on this list, if you leave the waste in these bucket toilets, it will not turn into fertilizing compost. Those extra steps may be more work in the long run.

4 Things to Consider Before Getting a Composting Toilet for You RV


Composting toilets are eco-friendly and easy to empty. However, before you fall head-over-heels for one of these toilets, you should consider if there is enough room in your RV for a composting toilet.

You should plan on needing a space that is at least two feet wide, two feet tall, and three to four feet deep for your toilet.

If you drive a small camper or pull a small trailer, there may not be enough room for many models of composting toilets.

DIY RV composting toilet

RV Composting Toilet Installation

Some models of composting toilets are easy to install. If you are handy with tools, you could likely do it yourself. This will save you money and it will mean you know the workings of the toilet in case anything goes wrong and needs repairs down the line.

Other models are complicated to install and should only be installed by a professional. You should account for this expense when budgeting for a composting toilet.

It can cost a couple of hundred dollars to have a composting toilet installed in your RV.

Organic Material

Many people recommend that you add extra organic material to your composting toilet. This can help create air pockets and keep the solid waste dryer.

This will help with the eventual breakdown of the waste, which will help things compost more quickly and fully.

In general, this organic material is easy to find and cheap. Examples include sawdust and/or peat moss. You will have to find out how often it needs to be added for your particular model of toilet.

Keep in mind that you will need to have a plan for replacing it if you run out during your trip.


If you have a composting pile in your yard or access to a composting bin, dumping the waste from a composting toilet is easy. You can simply empty the contents of the removable composting container into the pile or bin.

If you are out camping, though, you may need to find a composting bin in your area to dump waste. If your waste has been composted fully, you can empty it in a dumpster.

If you use a bag, use a biodegradable bag to let the composting occur fully.

Take note that if you intend to dump in a garbage can, you will need to let the waste compost fully before dumping.

WHERE TO DUMP A COMPOSTING TOILET >> Check out the video below:


Different composting toilets can hold varying amounts of waste. Depending on how many people you travel with and how often you use the toilet in your RV, you will need to plan accordingly for which toilet is best for you.

If you are camping with 2 people, chances are the toilet you use will be able to last for a few weeks. However, if you are using the same toilet and camping with 5 people, you will need to empty more frequently.

RV Composting Toilet vs Black Tank

The black tank in an RV is used to collect water that is mixed with human waste. It cannot be dumped just anywhere. It must be dumped at a special site because human waste can be dangerous if it gets into water sources.

In an RV black water tank, a seal is all that is separating the waste from your toilet bowl. If that seal breaks, you will be prone to leakage and a terrible smell.

Composting toilets have extra separation. The liquid waste is separated from the solid waste which helps prevent a smell from developing. If you are concerned about smell, composting toilets for RV are probably right for you.

It is also important to remember that many RVs already come equipped with black tanks. Composting toilets may cost more if you are looking to purchase an RV that includes one.

You will also need to remember that adding your own composting toilet later will cost extra for installation.

Small RV Composting Toilet: What You Should Know

Small RV composting toilets are great if you pull a small camper trailer or if you drive a small class B motorhome. These more compact options often have fewer amenities, if you are looking for the most comfortable option.

Take note that due to the technology required to make composting toilets function, they are not always the most compact toilet option.

If you drive a small RV, you will need to measure the toilet you intend to buy and carefully measure to make sure there is enough space for it in your RV.

The Air Head composting toilet is a more compact option, so if you want to look for one for a small RV, that is a great place to start.

Portable RV Composting Toilet

Portable RV composting toilets are going to be smaller than one that is built into your RV. You will save money on not needing to pay the installation fee, but you will have to empty these options more regularly.

Thetford is one of the most highly recommended portable toilet brands. Their options are not always the most durable, but they do have plenty of models available.

In general, if you are using a portable composting toilet, remember that you will need to leave extra time to allow the waste to compost.

Another option available is the Santerra Green composting toilet. This option is more expensive, but it is one of the most easy-to-use portable composting toilet options on the market today.

Read also: Best Portable Camping Toilets for Vans, Cars, and RVs (11 Facts)

Class B RV Composting Toilet: What You Should Know

Class B motorhomes are the smallest option of motorhomes on the market. Motorhomes have engines and drive as a vehicle themselves, so they do not include trailers that must be towed by another vehicle.

Read also: Cassette Toilet – What Is it? Where Do You Dump It? How Do You Use it?

Class B motorhomes are roughly the size of a panel van. Class B motorhomes do not have as much interior room as class A or class C motorhomes.

You will need to be sure to use a compact model of the composting toilet if you want to have room inside the motorhome.

Not all class B motorhomes come with toilets installed. On the bright side, because you eliminate the need for a black tank when you use a composting toilet, composting toilets are often easier to install in a class B motorhome than other toilets.

Read also: Class B RVs – List of Best Class B RV Manufacturers (Explained)

Converting RV Toilet to Composting

If you want to convert your RV toilet to a composting toilet, know that it is not going to be a simple process. You will have to make sure that the composting toilet you buy will fit in the space left by the toilet already in your RV.

You will also need to pay to have the toilet removed from your RV and to have the composting toilet installed. If you use your RV frequently, the money saved by the composting toilet may make the ordeal worth it in the long term.

Because composting toilets require particular technology to properly break down the waste, it is not easy to simply convert a regular toilet into a composting toilet.

Why We Built Our Composting Toilet and You Should Too! >> Check out the video below:

Composting Toilet for Pop-Up Camper

Pop-up campers are generally trailers or truck options that are collapsible. You can fold them down and drive and then set them up when you arrive at your location.

They are popular for people looking for more luxury but who do not need all of the amenities offered by full-size campers.

Compact composting toilets may still be quite large for many pop-up campers. However, a bucket toilet will be great for giving you more comfort and safety when you go, without taking up all of the room in your portable pop-up camper.  

RV Composting Toilet FAQs

Let’s close out this page about composting toilets for RVs with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!

Do I Need a Septic Tank if I Have a Composting Toilet?

Do I Need a Septic Tank if I Have a Composting Toilet? No. If you have a composting toilet, you do not need a septic tank. Composting toilets have removable waste tanks. The solid waste is broken down and converted into compost, while the liquid waste runs into a separate tank that can be emptied elsewhere. This eliminates the need for a septic tank.

Do Composting Toilets Smell?

Do Composting Toilets Smell? The design of composting toilets is specialized to eliminate the smell. Because solid waste and liquid waste are in separate tanks, the waste never turns into sewage.

This should eliminate any smell. If you experience a smell, there may be a leak somewhere.

Can You Pee in a Composting Toilet?

Can You Pee in a Composting Toilet? Yes, you can pee in a composting toilet. Liquid waste is diverted into a separate tank, so you do not need to worry about filling the toilet with liquid waste.

You simply need to remember to empty the liquid waste tank often.

Is it Illegal to Throw Away Urine?

Is it Illegal to Throw Away Urine? Yes, in many places, it is not illegal to throw away urine, as long as it is properly bagged and/or contained, to avoid spilling into the dump. An easier disposal method, though, is to simply pour the urine from your composting toilet down the drain.

If you are looking for secure places to dispose of the urine from a composting toilet, you have several options:

•           A dump station- This would be the same station where you could dump the black waste tank from your RV.

•           A Bathroom- If you can find a public toilet, it is safe and legal to dump urine down a toilet. You will want to be discreet if there are many people around.

•           In the Woods- In some places, it is legal to dump the urine in areas away from people. Make sure the area has plenty of dirt, and NEVER dump near waterways. Also, be sure to avoid dumping your waste on private property.

How Does a Composting Toilet Work in an RV?

Composting toilets do not use the black water system in an RV. Instead, the waste is separated into different tanks for solid and liquid waste. Liquid waste must then be dumped at an appropriate location.

Solid waste is broken down and composted. You can then empty the solid waste containment unit into a composting pile or other appropriate dumping location.

Composting toilets sometimes come in RVs. Others can be easily installed if you are interested in converting your bathroom to a composting toilet.

Composting Toilet In A RV – What They Don’t Tell You >> Check out the video below:

How Do You Use a Composting Toilet?

You can use a toilet much like any other toilet. The toilet is designed to separate liquid and solid waste, so until the disposal process begins, you can use it just like a flush toilet.

There is a lever that you must open if you intend to create solid waste. This will help separate the liquid and solid waste.

If you are using your own composting toilet for the first time, remember to place peat moss in the solid containment tank. Also, remember to close all of the valves between uses.

This will help prevent any smell from leaking out, and it can speed up the composting process.

COMPOSTING TOILETS 101: Separett Review & How To Empty It >> Check out the video below:

How Much Does a Composting Toilet Cost?

How Much Does a Composting Toilet Cost? On average, composting toilets cost around 1400 dollars. If you are looking to add a composting toilet to an RV or mobile home, do not forget to account for the cost of installation.

Some composting toilets are easy to install, and you can do it yourself. Others will require an expert. You can expect to add a couple of hundreds of dollars to the fee if you count installation.

What is a Composting Toilet System?

A composting toilet is a dry toilet. It does not use additional liquid to flush or process waste. When waste is added to the toilet, it is separated into one of two tanks. One tank is for solid waste, and one tank is for liquid waste (urine).

The solid waste tank needs peat moss or another similar organic material to help dry out the solid waste and break it down into compost.

The system does not flush, but there is a valve that separates the solid tank from the liquid tank.

Do You Have to Empty a Composting Toilet?

Yes, you do have to empty a composting toilet. You will need to empty the liquid waste every couple of days. You will need to empty the solid waste every few weeks.

How do You Empty a Composting Toilet?

There are two compartments on a composting toilet that will need to be emptied. They have separate indicators to inform you of when the containers need to be emptied.

The liquid waste compartment will likely need to be emptied every two to three days. The solid tank can go for weeks before it will need to be emptied.

The tanks are both removable, so you can take them out and empty the contents in the appropriate location.

Liquid waste from composting toilets will empty into a bottle with a lid. You can remove the cap and dump the waste into a toilet or dump location. Then, rinse the container and replace it in the composting toilet.

Solid waste is also simple to empty. It will convert into compost before you empty it. You can dump the contents into a compost pile or composting trash can. If you are camping with an RV, there is likely a composting trash can at the campground.

If you do not have access to a composting trash can, you can dispose of the composted waste in bio-degradable bags in the trash.

How to Clean a Composting Toilet?

You do not want to use harsh chemicals to clean the composting unit on your composting toilet. It can inhibit the beneficial bacteria that break down the waste. After emptying the waste, you can simply rinse the tank to help keep it clean.

Rinse the liquid tank and spray with a mixture of vinegar and water if you want to help control the smell. You can use a similar spray of vinegar and water to clean the bowl of the toilet.

What Do You Do with Composting Toilet Waste?

Solid waste from a composting toilet can be added to a composting trash bin or a regular trash bin if it is sealed in a bio-degradable bag.

Liquid waste from a composting toilet should be disposed of in a toilet or other proper sewage dump. Never dump it near waterways.

How Often Do You Have to Empty a Composting Toilet?

Composting toilets can go for weeks without needing to be emptied. The solid waste will need to be emptied every two to three weeks if you are using it regularly. Liquid waste will likely fill up within a couple of days.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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